AI & Local News
Connecting people, ideas and tools from artificial intelligence, automation, and news to support sustainability and innovation in the journalism industry and sustain quality journalism.
The AI & Local News initiative – supported by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation – helps local news organizations to utilize artificial intelligence through projects with Associated Press, Brown Institute's Local News Lab, NYC Media Lab, and Partnership on AI.
AI & Local News @ NYC Media Lab
Regional, local, and community-based newsrooms are continuing to experience resource constraints. At NYC Media Lab we're working on projects to foster a pipeline of AI talent, products, and services to advance a sustainable future for local journalism. We believe interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge sharing are critical to bridging this gap and leveraging AI in newsrooms.
Community Platform: a newsletter and resources on this website that connect the challenges local newsrooms face with the opportunities provided by new tools.
AI & Local News Challenge: an opportunity for startups and university teams to develop and advance projects that use AI to address the needs of news organizations.
How Newsrooms Use AI
AI tools can be used to meet news audience needs and aid reporters in several ways, including helping with Newsgathering, Investigations, Fact-checking, Audience engagement, and Personalization. A year-long analysis and observations by Knight Foundation on how AI impacts journalism gathered many examples including:
Publishers including The Philadelphia Inquirer are using dynamic paywalls to try to increase digital subscription conversion rates.
Richland Source, a digital nonprofit serving mid-Ohio, applies AI to produce local sports coverage with fewer reporters and editors.
KPCC in Southern California used AI to help the newsroom respond in real time to more than 5,000 questions about Covid19 since last March.
For more examples of AI applications for news see this Airtable of case studies from JournalismAI and this spreadsheet of examples collected by John Keefe, Youyou Zhou and Jeremy Merrill for the Knight Foundation.
The NYC Media Lab team produced NewsLab 2020, an event that convened more than 150 interdisciplinary practitioners in journalism and technology. Over the course of several days, including a follow-up event for participants, several key themes emerged as priorities for the community:
- Newsrooms across the country are continuing to experience resource constraints, especially in smaller, local, and community-based newsrooms
- New tools that leverage AI and explore computational journalism can help address this widening resource gap.
- Interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge sharing are critical to bridging this gap and leveraging AI in newsrooms.